Make no mistake, Love Actually is a chick flick, but it's a good one. The title pretty much sums up the plot: love in all its forms at least all the forms the British could come up with. And despite the excessive nudity and American bashing (all Americans are easy; the President and American girls in particular and the British are tough and polite whereas Americans are crass and pushy) the movie was really fun and uplifting. I guess I am a little biased since I love Hugh Grant. I know he's a dork, or a fop as the British would say, but I love him anyway. Fortunately for everyone who doesn't harbor a not-so-secret affection for Hugh, the movie is not all about him.
Love Actually has ten separate plots all vaguely interwoven. I say vaguely because sometimes the relationships, and scene transitions, are clear and other times they are choppy. At first it was hard to follow the huge numbers of characters. In fact, often times it was hard to follow them. So here is a break down of the plots:
1. Hugh Grant plays the newly elected British Prime Minister who falls in love with the girl who brings him tea (Martine McCutcheo).
2. His younger sister Karen (Emma Thompson)'s husband, Harry (Alan Rickman) are going through some tough times and are evaluating their love for one another.
3. All the while, Harry is contemplating infidelity with his secretary, who is making advances at him.
4. Two of Harry's employees, Sarah (Laura Linney) and Carl are trying to start a romance despite her institutionalized brother's constant phone calls.
5. Yet another story follows the relationship between a recently windowed stepfather (Neeson) and his eleven year-old stepson.
6. His stepson has his own love story, with a ten year-old girl from his school.
7. "Just" Judy and Jack who are the body doubles for all the sex scenes in a movie go on their first date.
8. Colin Firth catches his brother and wife together and moves out to a château (in France?) where he falls for his non-English-speaking Portuguese maid (Lucia Moniz).
9. Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) plays an aging rocker who has a come back with a Christmas ballad, which is a cover of "Love is All Around".
10. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) who falls in love with his best friend's new wife, Juliet (Keira Knightley).
My favorite scene is Hugh Grant dancing alone to the Pointer Sisters "Jump for My Love" but it was one of many that had the audience laughing out loud. So there was no one lesson from this mammoth cast. Some characters fell in love, some get rejected. Overall the point was that love is all around and Christmas is a good time to show it.
Rating: A-Reviewed by Meghan O'Sullivan